Intel is working on a new chip solely for blockchain technology, and it has lined up its first customer.
US-based Intel Corp has revealed a new chip targeted at the blockchain crowd. Thanks to the new chip, the company will make inroads into bitcoin mining and NFT minting as the popularity of these new technologies continues to soar. Intel needs to make moves like this to remain relevant in the evolving tech world.
Intel says the chip will be available later this year, and it is already signing up clients. Block Inc., the Jack Dorsey-controlled financial company formerly known as Square Inc., is firmly on board. Dorsey is a massive supporter of the blockchain and had grand plans to introduce the tech to Twitter before resigning as the CEO.
Another company ready to take up Intel on its offer is GRIID Infrastructures, focused on bitcoin mining.
With the support of tech rock stars like Dorsey, blockchain has been attracting lots of attention and making lots of promises. The tech is used to maintain records of transactions on a network of computers. It is expected to be the backbone for new tech concepts like NFTs and cryptos.
Raja Koduri, SVP at Intel, wrote in the announcement, “Today, we at Intel are declaring our intent to contribute to the development of blockchain technologies, with a roadmap of energy-efficient accelerators. Intel will engage and promote an open and secure blockchain ecosystem and will help advance this technology in a responsible and sustainable way.
“We are mindful that some blockchains require an enormous amount of computing power, which unfortunately translates to an immense amount of energy. Our customers are asking for scalable and sustainable solutions, which is why we are focusing our efforts on realizing the full potential of blockchain by developing the most energy-efficient computing technologies at scale.”
Intel’s new chip promises an energy-efficient accelerator that will increase the speed of blockchain operations that take huge chunks of energy and computing power. This is a smart play from Intel as it is coming at a time when there have been concerns about the environmental impact of mining cryptos. These mining activities have been blamed for blackouts and high energy costs in several countries. Some nations are scrambling to bring it under control to save their power grids.
Tesla even had to abandon its plans to accept payments with cryptos, despite the CEO’s famous support for the currency. Elon Musk expressed concerns about the environmental impact when announcing Tesla would not proceed with its crypto plans.
In the US, Congress has broached how crypto mining has been causing a rise in energy consumption and has even asked mining companies to declare how much energy they consume in their operation.
More information about Intel’s new chip will come at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference starting on February 20th. Intel will make a presentation on the fourth day of the conference titled “Bonanza Mine: An Ultra-Low-Voltage Energy-Efficient Bitcoin Mining ASIC.” ASIC stands for application-specific integrated circuits or chips designed for a sole task like mining cryptos.
However, Intel is not the only chip maker making dedicated chips for these new technologies. For instance, Nvidia Corp has a graphics card for mining cryptos and even makes one optimized for Ethereum mining.